Style Guide

Jotwell seeks short reviews of (very) recent scholarly work that the reviewer likes and thinks deserves a wide audience. The ideal Jotwell review will not merely celebrate scholarly achievement, but situate it in the context of other scholarship in a manner that explains to both specialists and non-specialists why the work is important.

Although critique is welcome, reviewers should choose the subjects they write about with an eye toward identifying and celebrating work that makes an original contribution, and that will be of interest to others.

Reviews need not be written in a particularly formal manner. Contributors should feel free to write in a manner that will be understandable to scholars, practitioners, and even non-lawyers.

Ordinarily, a Jotwell contribution will

  • be between 500-1000 words;
  • focus on one work, ideally a recent article, but a discussion of a recent book is also welcome;
  • begin with a hyperlink to the original work — in order to make the conversation as inclusive as possible, there is a strong preference for reviews to focus on scholarly works that can be found online without using a subscription service such as Westlaw or Lexis. That said, reviews of articles that are not freely available online, and also of very recent books, are also welcome.

References

Authors are responsible for the content and cite-checking of their own articles. Jotwell editors and staff may make editorial suggestions, and may alter the formatting to conform to the house style, but the author remains the final authority on content appearing under his or her name.

  • Please keep citations to a minimum.
  • Please include a hyperlink, if possible, to any works referenced.
  • Textual citations are preferred. Endnotes, with hyperlinks, are allowed if your HTML skills extend that far.
  • Authors are welcome to follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed. 2005), or the The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (2d Ed.) or indeed to adopt any other citation form which makes it easy to find the work cited.

Technical

Jotwell publishes in HTML, which is a very simple text format and which does not lend itself to footnotes. Editors have access to the publication system, and may enter their text directly into the WordPress system. Often the best way to do this is to draft the article in your favorite word processor then paste the text into WordPress.  Initial drafts should be saved but not published until they have been reviewed for any possible coding errors by the Section Editors or Jotwell staff.   Editors should feel free to email submissions to the section editors or to ed.jotwell@gmail.com so that we can format them for you.

All other contributors should email their article, in plain text, in HTML, or in a common wordprocessor format (Open Office, WordPerfect, or Word) to ed.jotwell@gmail.com and we will forward the article to the appropriate section editors.  Or you may, if you prefer, contact one of the section editors directly.

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